For a brief second, it almost sounded like a concession. President Donald Trump got really, really close to admitting that he had lost the presidential election on Friday in his first public remarks since Joe Biden became president-elect. But he seemed to catch himself in the middle and quickly changed his train of thought. It happened Friday afternoon when Trump was speaking from the Rose Garden giving an update on the progress of the coronavirus vaccines. At one point he said that “this administration will not be going to a lockdown.” And then he went on, “hopefully the, the…” and Trump stopped himself just as he seemed ready to say “the Biden administration.”
Trump saved himself from what could have very well turned out to be an accidental concession by saying, “Whatever happens in the future” and he continued to haltingly say, “Who knows, which administration it will be — I guess time will tell — but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown. It won’t be necessity.” And he went on to justify his anti-lockdown rhetoric by saying “lockdowns cost lives and they cost a lot of problems.” He went on to describe problems associated with lockdowns, including depression and economic woes. “It’s a terrible thing,” he said. “So, this administration will not go under any circumstances, will not go to a lockdown, but will be very vigilant, very careful.”
Trump’s words from the Rose Garden Friday were supposed to mark a success for his administration considering they came mere days after Pfizer had announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. Trump had expressed anger at Pfizer for announcing the results so soon after the election and what was supposed to be a triumphant moment had a very somber tone. As Trump celebrated the vaccine development “he did so with the dour, slightly defeated air of a man who knows his time is coming to an end,” notes the Washington Post.